Developing a marketing campaign should be the number one priority of home business owners. Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines campaign as "a connected series of operations designed to bring about a particular result." The results you're seeking are sales and profits. There are three things to consider when developing your campaign: money, time, and quality.
A lack of funds shouldn't prevent you from developing a marketing campaign. New and existing home business owners alike can benefit from free and low-cost methods. These include:
- Direct Marketing. Even in the digital age, you must still consider this option. Sending excellent sales letters, and offering discounts or samples should yield results in the 1% to 2% range of mailers sent.
- Word-of-mouth marketing. Until your clients and customers tell the world about you, make the effort to leave your home and make face to face contacts in your local market. Use the same approach online using email.
- Blogging. Posting to your blog daily will help to brand you as an expert and leader in your niche.
- Public Relations. Write press releases and send them to your local radio and television news departments. Reporters are always looking for story ideas, and pitching yourself as an expert helps them. In return, you'll get free publicity for your business.
- Article Marketing. In addition to blogging, you can write articles on topics related to your products or services. You will have to learn how to write in such a way that your articles will appear in the first couple of pages of Yahoo! and Google (know as search engine optimization - or SEO - writing).
You must implement your marketing campaign daily to get results. It can be tempting to focus solely on shipping products or delivering services. However, there will come a day when your current clients stop buying and you'll need more. You want to avoid not earning a living while you wait to land new sales. You can do this by being proactive and marketing your business everyday. At least 20% of your time should be dedicated to implementing your marketing campaign.
In the beginning, the time spent marketing will more likely amount to 90% or more of your time until you land enough sales. If you're having trouble managing your time to fit marketing in, make it the first thing you do to begin your work day. Decide on a 1, 2, or 3 hour block of time that you'll consistently use to market your business, barring a more urgent client or customer need. Before you know it, marketing will become a habit.
Providing quality products and services to customers will make marketing that much easier and more successful. Once you land a client, you don't need to keep marketing to them if you go above and beyond to make them happy. They will be a source of repeat business, and they will spread the word about you.
A marketing campaign takes at least six months of consistent efforts to see results. It will take patience and persistence, but you can do well if you stick to a firm campaign strategy.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.